Going Gray... Gracefully?

In my early 20's I noticed the first gray hairs. In my mid-20's, someone else noticed my gray hairs. It was time for permanent dying. For the next 20 years, I was a slave to the bottle or the salon chair. Thousands of dollars spent. I cringe to think about it!

I've been growing my hair for a few years, and it's getting quite long. But with length and more gray/white hair coming in, time and money spent in the chair were growing, too. To maintain a base color and highlights, I'd have to spend close to $100 every three weeks.

Enough was Enough. It was time for a change, but I wasn't sure how to make that change. As my hair grew, I was seeing more WHITE in my bangs and at my temples. WHITE, not Gray or Silver, but WHITE. And it was soft, manageable hair. Not kinky or wiry. It was beautiful. 

The decision was made, but how to make a graceful transition? I talked with a family friend who is a hair diva, and she suggested cool-toned highlights. The great thing about this is that I only need to visit about every 6-8 weeks because the highlights blend so well with my new growth. As you can see in my most recent photos, the 6" base of my hair is cooler and grayer, and the length is more yellow-blonde and warmer. Eventually, it will be cut off, but for now, I love the length.

In 2010 I had short dark hair. I love short hair... it's easy to wash and style.  Takes a lot less time! Around March/April 2011 I decided to grow it and go lighter. The dark was close to my base color, but the grays became too obvious.

Thanks to lots of layers and texturizing, the transition has been easy. It helps that my hair grows fast! 

Do you have gray hair? How do you handle it? Do you think you'll ever let it go natural?